Here and Now

Monday through Thursday at 1 p.m. on IPR News and News/Studio One

 

Here! Now! In the moment! Paddling in the middle of a fast moving stream of news and information. Here & Now is Public Radio's daily news magazine, bringing you the news that breaks after "Morning Edition" and before "All Things Considered."

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NPR Story
3:18 pm
Mon February 17, 2014

The Search For New Antibiotics

Microbiologist Tatiana Travis works with tubes of bacteria samples in an antimicrobial resistance and characterization lab within the Infectious Disease Laboratory at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Nov. 25, 2013, in Atlanta. (David Goldman/AP)

Two drug companies, Roche Holding and GlaxoSmithKline, have announced they’ll ramp up research into antibiotics. They join a handful of other companies. This comes after pharmaceutical companies largely stopped working on antibiotics, citing high costs and little payoff.

But with drug-resistant “superbugs” killing more than 23,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there have been calls for more research in the field.

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

People Around The World Dance For 'One Billion Rising' Day

Volunteers dance during the One Billion Rising campaign in the city center of Pristina, Kosovo, on February 14, 2014. (Armend Nimani/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 3:22 pm

It’s Valentines Day today, which also means it’s the second annual “One Billion Rising” Day, an international event started by playwright Eve Ensler to draw attention to domestic violence.

The event is billed as a global call to women survivors of violence to gather safely, together or alone — in courthouses, police stations, government offices, parks and homes — to express themselves through art, word and dance.

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Inside The World Of Jewish Matchmaking

An couple stands under a 'chupa', a Jewish altar, during a traditional wedding ceremony. (David Furst/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Wed February 19, 2014 12:55 pm

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof.”

The 1964 production made history: the first musical to surpass 3,000 performances, it went on to win nine Tony awards, including Best Musical and Best Score.

Four Broadway revivals and one successful film adaptation later, the story of Tevye and his daughters remains alive in popular culture.

Based on the book by Yiddish master storyteller Sholem Aleichem, Tevye attempts to preserve his family and Jewish traditions while outside influences threaten to derail all he knows.

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NPR Story
4:44 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Syria Peace Talks End In Apparent Failure

A Syrian man helps a child in a wheel chair as others inspect the scene following a reported air strike attack by government forces on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on February 14, 2014. More than 136,000 people have been killed in Syria's brutal war since March 2011, and millions more have fled their homes. (Khaled Khatib/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 3:22 pm

The peace talks in Switzerland aren’t changing much on the ground in Syria. Government troops and warplanes continue to batter a rebel-held town near the border with Lebanon, and an effort to evacuate trapped civilians from the besieged city of Homs has been halted.

NPR’s Deborah Amos joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss the talks.

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Plushenko Retires After Olympic Withdrawal

Evgeni Plushenko of Russia withdraws from the competition after warming up during the Men's Figure Skating Short Program on day 6 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at the at Iceberg Skating Palace on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by (Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

Evgeni Plushenko’s Olympics are over. His competitive career, too. The Russian star retired Thursday just after he withdrew from the men’s event at the Sochi Olympics for medical reasons.

The 31-year-old Plushenko is the only modern-era figure skater to win medals in four Olympics. He helped Russia win the team gold over the weekend.

“I think it’s God saying, `Evgeni, enough, enough with skating,”‘ said Plushenko, who originally was hurt in a training session Wednesday. “Age, it’s OK. But I have 12 surgeries. I’d like to be healthy.”

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

'The Reluctant Father' Comes Clean

Toledano wrote a blog last year, "The Reluctant Father," chronicling his struggle to connect with his baby daughter Loulou, pictured here with his wife, Carla. (Phillip Toledano)

Like all new fathers, Phillip Toledano was thrilled. Actually, that’s a big lie.

Toledano was resentful and felt he’d been downsized. He said that bonding with his newborn Loulou was “like trying to have a relationship with a sea sponge, or a single-cell protozoa.”

He wrote about those feelings in a blog that went viral last year. His thoughts and pictures of his daughter and wife are now part of a new book, “The Reluctant Father.”

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NPR Story
3:34 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

The Puck Drops For Men's Hockey In Sochi

James van Riemsdyk #21 of United States shoots the puck against Jaroslav Halak #41 of Slovakia during the Men's Ice Hockey Preliminary Round Group A game on day six of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Shayba Arena on February 13, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

The American and Russian teams played their first games in the men’s hockey tournament at the 2014 Winter Olympics today.

Russia beat Slovenia 5-2, and the U.S. men defeated Slovakia 7-1. The Russians and the Americans will meet on the ice for a highly anticipated game on Saturday.

NPR’s Robert Smith is in Sochi and joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with details.

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NPR Story
4:25 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Former New Orleans Mayor Found Guilty On 20 Counts

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 12:43 pm

A federal jury has convicted former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin on charges that he accepted bribes, free trips and other gratuities from contractors in exchange for helping them secure millions of dollars in city work while he was in office.

The jury today convicted Nagin of 20 of 21 counts against him.

Nagin was indicted in January 2013 on charges he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and truckloads of free granite for his family business in exchange for promoting the interests of a local businessman.

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NPR Story
4:25 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Court To Sperm Donor: You Owe Child Support

A little more than four years ago, William Marotta saw an ad on Craigslist — a lesbian couple, Angela Bauer and Jennifer Schreiner, was looking for a sperm donor so that they could conceive.

Marotta answered the ad and all parties signed a contract the couple had downloaded, aimed at relieving Marotta of any parental responsibilities. Several months later, Schreiner gave birth to a little girl.

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NPR Story
4:25 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

DJ Sessions: The Sounds Of College

Smith Westerns is one of the bands featured in this weeks' college DJ Sessions. (Smith Westerns/Facebook)

Time for another installment of the DJ Sessions. This week, Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson goes back to college with Taylor Jones, aka DJ Tesla, who hosts the show “Pop Rocks and Coke” on KWVA, University of Oregon’s campus radio station.

He shares some songs on his playlists — ranging from garage rock and punk to glam rock.

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NPR Story
3:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Judging The Judges As Pairs Figure Skating Begins

Russia's Maxim Trankov and Russia's Tatiana Volosozhar perform during the Figure Skating Pairs Team Short Program at the Iceberg Skating Palace during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 6, 2014. (Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images)

Pairs figure skating begins tonight at the Sochi Olympics. Will Russia’s Maxim Trankov and Tatiana Volosozhar restore the luster of the once-vaunted Russian figure skating program? They helped seal Russia’s gold in the team skating event this past weekend.

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NPR Story
3:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Cossacks Are Back In Sochi

Russian Cossacks stand guard, Thursday, Jan. 30, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana outside the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Russia. (Jae C. Hong/AP)

If you’re watching the Sochi Olympics coverage, you’ve probably seen them in their tall lambswool hats and long gray overcoats and boots. There are some 1,000 uniformed Cossacks among the 70,000 security officials in Sochi.

Cossacks have a complicated place in Russian history and their presence, both symbolic and serving a real purpose, is picking at old wounds in the region.

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NPR Story
3:39 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Obama, Hollande Push Message Of Renewed Ties

U.S. President Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande hold a joint press conference during a State Visit in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on February 11, 2014. (Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images)

In Washington, D.C. today, French President François Hollande joined President Obama for a press conference at the White House ahead of a state dinner scheduled for tonight.

The men are pushing a message of a renewed relationship between France and the U.S., one that faltered over a decade ago when France opposed the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

NPR’s Scott Horsley joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with details on what the two presidents had to say.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Copenhagen Zoo Criticized For Giraffe Killing

A perfectly healthy young giraffe named Marius was shot dead and autopsied in the presence of visitors to the gardens at Copenhagen zoo on Febuary 9, 2014 despite an online petition to save it signed by thousands of animal lovers. (Kasper Palsnov/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:57 pm

Saying it needed to prevent inbreeding, the Copenhagen Zoo killed a 2-year-old giraffe and fed its remains to lions as visitors watched, ignoring a petition signed by thousands and offers from other zoos and a private individual to save the animal.

Marius, a healthy male, was put down Sunday using a bolt pistol, said zoo spokesman Tobias Stenbaek Bro. Visitors, including children, were invited to watch while the giraffe was then skinned and fed to the lions.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Puerto Ricans Leave Island Amid Economic Woes

Antonia Arroyo sits on a bench in November, 2013 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. After working for the Municipality of San Juan for 35 years she lives off her 500 dollar a month government pension. The government remains the largest employer in Puerto Rico and can only service about 11 percent of the pension costs out of it's budget. (Christopher Gregory/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 1:59 pm

Puerto Rico just had its bond rating downgraded to “junk status” by two of the three main rating agencies, Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s. The government is now starting a round of budget cuts and austerity measures to try to turn the economy around.

The economic problems in Puerto Rico have the potential to ripple through the U.S. bond market, since 70 percent of U.S. municipal funds hold some Puerto Rican debt.

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NPR Story
3:53 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Tiny Birds Rock Out In Museum Exhibit

Céleste Boursier-Mougenot's sonic installation introduces a flock of 70 Zebra Finches to Gibson Les Paul and Thunderbird bass guitars. (www.pem.org)

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 3:57 pm

How do 70 live zebra finches play about a dozen electric guitars? It sounds like the start of a joke, but the answer can be found through a new art and sound exhibit at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., titled, “From Here To Ear.”

From the Here & Now Contributors Network, Andrea Shea of WBUR has the story. The exhibition runs through April 13.

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NPR Story
3:22 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Power Out For Thousands In Mid-Atlantic

Hundreds of thousands of Marylanders and Pennsylvanians are still without power, after a winter storm earlier this week dumped as much as a foot of snow in some areas.

The lights have come back on for about half of those who lost power, but thousands are expected to be in the dark until late in the weekend.

Tom McDonald of WHYY in Philadelphia joins Here & Now’s Robin Young with the latest.

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NPR Story
3:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

'Japanese Beethoven' Admits Fraud

Mamoru Samuragochi, a celebrated Japanese composer known as the "Japanese Beethoven" because he composed some of the country's most well known music after losing his hearing, is sending shockwaves throughout his country on Wednesday after admitting to using a ghostwriter. (Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images)

Mamoru Samuragochi is known as the “Japanese Beethoven” because he composed some of the country’s most well-known music after losing his hearing. But it turns out he didn’t really write much of that music.

Samuragochi admitted on Wednesday he had a ghostwriter. That ghostwriter is now coming forward, and is suggesting Samuragochi might not even be deaf.

The BBC’s Rupert Wingfield-Hayes joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson from Tokyo.

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NPR Story
3:17 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Ice Fishing A Stone's Throw From Downtown Milwaukee

The trip to Milwaukee's new bay is a quick one for three north shore ice fishermen. (Marge Pitrof/WUWM)

While frigid temperatures are a hardship for some, they’re a blessing for ice fishermen. Marge Pitrof from Here & Now contributor station WUWM met up with some on a small bay in Lake Michigan, a stone’s throw from downtown Milwaukee.

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NPR Story
3:20 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

DJ Sessions: From Sam Smith To Takuya Kuroda

Disclosure, an English electronic music duo, is among the bands KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez recommends. (disclosureofficial.com)

KCRW DJ Anthony Valadez joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson with some new music — from a new version of the song “Latch” with British artist Sam Smith, to a song that caught his attention from the soundtrack of “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.”

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NPR Story
3:16 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Will Sochi Olympics Architecture Win Gold?

Fisht Olympic Stadium is pictured in the new Sochi Olympic Park. (Courtesy of Populous)

The Olympics start today, and one thing viewers are excited to see that isn’t an event is the architecture of the facilities. At a price tag of $50 billion, they are the most expensive games in history. The president of the Sochi chapter of the Union of Russian Architects says the city has been transformed.

This is the first Winter Games designed as part of a master plan, but with stories of two toilets in a stall, and facilities for previous Olympics around the world going unused, what will be the legacy of the buildings at Sochi?

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NPR Story
3:16 pm
Thu February 6, 2014

Stolen Stradivarius Possibly Recovered

In this undated photo provided by the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, concertmaster Frank Almond plays a 300-year-old Stradivarius violin that was on loan to him during a concert in Milwaukee. (Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra via AP)

A Milwaukee County assistant district attorney says three people have been arrested in connection with the theft of a multi-million dollar Stradivarius violin stolen last week from the concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.

Police say that the investigation is ongoing and it’s not yet clear whether the violin was recovered. Experts are asked to determine whether the violin recovered is authentic.

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NPR Story
4:16 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Concerns Over Brazil’s Readiness For World Cup And Summer Olympics

The Arena Pantanal stadium is under construction ahead of the 2014 World Cup soccer tournament in Cuiaba, Brazil, Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013. FIFA wants all World Cup stadiums completed by December. (Felipe Dana/AP)

With the 2014 Winter Olympic Games kicking off this week in Sochi, it may seem excessive to look ahead to the 2016 Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro. However, Brazilian officials are already under significant pressure for not meeting deadlines in planning the 2016 Olympic Games and the 2014 World Cup.

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NPR Story
4:16 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

To Close Or Not to Close Highways In A Winter Storm

Cars travel down a highway during a snowstorm in the Brooklyn borough on February 3, 2014 in New York City. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Forecasters are calling it Nika – the latest major winter storm, now dumping snow on Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New England. In New York, ice spurred Governor Cuomo to take the major step of closing I-84, the highway that runs from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts.

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NPR Story
4:16 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Stock Market Volatility Jumps In 2014

The Chicago Board of Options Exchange’s Volatility Index (VIX) has been tracking the speed of stock price movements since 1990. In January, the index showed that volatility – or the fluctuation of share prices – jumped 34 percent.

This is the largest increase in VIX history and possibly indicates that investors are getting surprised and changing their investment decisions. NPR’s Marilyn Geewax joins Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to discuss “volatility” and what this increase says about the market in 2014.

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NPR Story
4:01 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

'Jeopardy Villain' Explains How He Keeps Winning

Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek and contestant Arthur Chu pose for a photo. (Facebook)

He’s being called the “Jeopardy villain,” but Arthur Chu of Broadview Heights, Ohio, considers himself more of a “mad genius.” The 30-year-old insurance analyst and voiceover artist has won three times since he came on the show last week.

Some say Chu is taking all the fun out of the game. He goes for the hardest questions first, slams down his buzzer incessantly and tries to get the host to speed up. It’s all part of his strategy inspired by game theory — a model of strategic, mathematical decision making.

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NPR Story
4:01 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Behind The Ups And Downs On Wall Street

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher today after the Dow Jones plunged more than 320 points yesterday — the worst day in more than seven months. The S&P 500 also inched up at the open, after ending yesterday down nearly 6 percent from a recent high.

So what’s up with the ups and downs? Jason Bellini of the Wall Street Journal joins Here & Now’s Robin Young to discuss the drop and whether it will continue.

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NPR Story
4:01 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

What Airline Hub Closures Mean For Communities

A United Airlines sits on the tarmac at San Francisco International Airport on January 23, 2014 in San Francisco, California. United Airlines parent company United Continental Holdings reported a surge in fourth quarter profits with earnings of $140 million compared to a loss of $620 million one year ago. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

This weekend, United Airlines announced it was cutting roughly 60 percent of its departures from Cleveland, beginning this spring. The move effectively eliminates United’s hub at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.

Yesterday, city officials gave their official response to the news, doing their best to put a positive spin on it. We hear a report from Brian Bull of WCPN, a Here & Now contributor station.

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NPR Story
5:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

Dining Out At The Dawn Of The 1900s

Hotel Astor, December 7, 1904, Byron Company. (From the book "Repast: Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910" by Michael Lesy and Lisa Stoffer)

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 2:26 pm

When did Americans, raised on the food of the Puritans — some meat or fish, some potatoes, some corn — start eating the food of immigrants who came after them?

Author and Hampshire College literary journalism professor Michael Lesy takes up that question in one chapter of his latest book, written with his wife Lisa Stoffer, “Repast: Dining Out at the Dawn of the New American Century, 1900-1910.”

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NPR Story
5:03 pm
Mon February 3, 2014

With Hoffman's Death, A Look At Heroin Use

New York City Police Department investigators leave the apartment building of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman after he was reported dead on February 2, 2014 in the Greenwich Village area of New York. (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images)

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 10:35 am

The New York City medical examiner’s office is doing an autopsy today on the body of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman. The actor and father of three was found on Sunday in his Manhattan apartment, dead of an apparent heroin overdose.

Philadelphia social worker and former heroin addict Jeff Deeney writes about Hoffman’s death in a piece in The Atlantic:

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